Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Three Democrats touted President Barack Obama's stimulus plan at a rock climbing facility in south Minneapolis Tuesday.
It would appear an unlikely spot for Mayor R.T. Rybak and Reps. Keith Ellison and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who also serves as the Democratic National Committee's chair, to spend the afternoon.
But the facility is a stimulus success story, the trio said.
"This is a great thing," said Ellison as rock climbers scaled the wall behind him. "Not only is it going to add interesting, vibrant amenities for people here...but it is going to be a place of employment."
Ellison said that Vertical Endeavors, which combined private, city and stimulus dollars to pay for the building's $1.3 million renovation, will support 35 full-and-part time jobs.
In this economic climate, job creation has emerged as a central theme to Obama's campaign. Wasserman Schultz, who's primary job will be to raise money for and campaign for Obama and other Democrats, said that the renovation would not have been possible without stimulus funding.
"These are the types of projects that remind us that in the 2012 election, our country is really going to have a very clear choice," she said. "We have Mitt Romney and Republicans who oppose job creation and investments like this one in small businesses."
Just a year out from the 2012 election, Wasserman Schultz also touted Obama's second jobs bill that has largely stalled in Congress.
Among other things, the nearly $450 billion proposal would put resources into infrastructure such as bridges.
"No one knows better than Minnesotans how important it is that our nation's bridges are sound and not failing," said Wasserman Schultz.